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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

As Tensions Rise With West, Ordinary Iranians Fear War

Tensions between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear program reached a new height Tuesday, with anonymous Israeli defense officials saying they believe time is urgently running out for a military strike to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Iran is moving more of its facilities underground, where, according to the Israeli Defense Minister, “no surgical operation could block them.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister meanwhile made a conciliatory gesture this week, inviting the U.N. nuclear inspectors in the country this week to stay beyond their planned three days — reports indicate that the inspectors will stick to their original schedule.

The UN visit comes amid high tension between Iran and the West, with Europe and the U.S. imposing tough new sanctions on the country, and Iran retaliating with a threat to block the Strait of Hormuz, which carries about a fifth of the world’s oil everyday.

While Iran is not high on the minds of most people in the West, reporter Thomas Erdbrink told Here and Now‘s Robin Young that “ordinary Iranians are feeling desperate, and fearing war, even as their economy suffers from the sanctions.”

Guest:


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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